Will it be an illusion or a reality?

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Photo illustration by the author. Nature photo by Casey Harner via Unsplash

I got an eBook of President Barack Obama’s new memoir. The first thing I noticed was that Obama dedicated the book to his two daughters and to “Michelle — my love and life’s partner.” Not at all surprised since his Medium profile says, “Dad, Husband, President, Citizen,” in that order.

In the preface of the book, A Promised Land [1], Obama writes that he believes we can make democracy work because America is made up of “people from every corner of the planet, comprising every race and faith and cultural practice.” He elaborates:

“I’m convinced that the pandemic we’re currently living through is both a manifestation of an interconnected world, one in which peoples and cultures can’t help but collide… In that world — of global supply chains, instantaneous capital transfers, social media, transnational terrorist networks, climate change, mass migration, and ever-increasing complexity — we will learn to live together, cooperate, and recognize the dignity of others, or we will perish.” …


One or both COVID-19 vaccines may become available soon.

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Photo illustration: COVID-19 image, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain Image of Moderna

The biotech firm Moderna, based in Cambridge, MA, announced the Phase 3 trial results of its coronavirus vaccine yesterday (November 16, 2020). The vaccine was 94.5% effective against the coronavirus. The news came one week after Pfizer/BioNTech announced the promising results of their vaccine trials. Moderna announced the findings in a news release, not in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, and did not disclose the detailed data that would allow outside experts to evaluate the claims.

This story is a follow-up of another one published on Medium about the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and how billions of doses of vaccines would be manufactured, stored, and distributed to all parts of the country. …


The daunting task is to manufacture and distribute millions of doses needed.

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Photo illustration: COVID-19 image, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain Image of Logo

On Monday, November 9, 2020, New York-based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech announced that their experimental vaccine maybe 90% effective against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). The announcement was a news release, not even a preprint, and did not contain any data or analysis. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, BNT162b2, is messenger RNA (mRNA) based.

According to ScienceNews, the data came from Phase 3 clinical trials. In the double-blind study, 39,000 of the 43,500 participants in six countries received two injections spaced 21 days apart of either the vaccine or a placebo. …


The game is heading to overtime

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Image courtesy: AP

Based on the analysis of election data, news outlets and their decision desks have called the election for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The Democrats will retain control of the House. And the White House, returning to their fold after four years; they will wield more power in Washington, DC. …


The most experienced person to become President. The first Black, Indian-American woman to be Vice President.

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Photo Courtesy: New York Times

When he takes the oath of office as the 46th President of the United States on January 20, 2021, Joseph R. Biden Jr. will be 78 years old and will be the oldest person to ascend to the office. He was elected a Senator at age 29, and even before he was sworn in, he lost his wife and daughter in a car accident. Biden wanted to quit to take care of his two boys, who were also injured. It seems adversity followed him throughout his life. In 1988, Biden suffered a brain aneurysm and, soon after, a pulmonary embolism. His oldest son died of brain cancer in 2015. With family and friends’ support and his own resilience, Biden rebounded. …


In the United States, the cases continue to soar

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A series of leadership failures occurred in the United States that led to the coronavirus pandemic getting out of hand. Through deft management and timely implementation of strategies learned from previous epidemics, countries in Asia were able to keep the total number of cases and deaths due to COVID-19 low. This essay is my attempt to compare the response of these countries to that of the United States.

The first months of the pandemic

A mysterious pneumonia-like illness began spreading in China at the end of December 2019. Like their counterparts worldwide, American public health officials braced for the airborne pathogen to reach their shores. …


On Election Day, the electorate sent a mixed message

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Created by the author

Ten months ago, on February 3, 2020, Adam Schiff, the lead manager from the House of Representative, stood on the Senate floor and made his closing arguments in the impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump. It was an impassioned speech. He urged the Republican members of the Senate to do the right thing.

“[The founding fathers] gave you a remedy, and they meant for you to use it. They gave you an oath, and they meant for you to observe it.”

“America believes a thing called truth. She does not believe we are entitled to our own alternate facts. She recoils at those who spread pernicious falsehoods; to her, truth matters. …


For the next ten days, the campaigns will inundate us with attack ads

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Photo courtesy: CNN

At the second and final debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the theatrics and the constant interruptions that made the first debate unwatchable were mostly absent. …


Now he faces a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

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Montage by the author. Public domain photos from Office of Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Dept. of Health

Scientists have been considering several scenarios for the future of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these are consistent with what occurred during the influenza pandemics of the past. …


The name ‘Kamala’ has become the new dog whistle for Republicans.

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Montage created by the author. Photos courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

The Republican Senator from Georgia, David Perdue was the warm-up act for President Trump during a rally in Macon on Friday, October 16, 2020. Perdue, who has served in the Senate the last four years with Kamala Harris, spoke her name sarcastically as “Ka-MA-la, KA-ma-la, Kamala-mala-mala. I don’t know whatever.”

Jon Ossoff via Twitter

Jon Ossoff, the Democratic opponent of Perdue, tweeted a video of the incident. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesperson Helen Kalla wrote that “Sen. …

About

Dr. Zach Zachariah

Associate Professor Emeritus (Chemistry) Ohio University. Writes on science | public interest topics | American politics | Indian-Americans | COVID-19

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